Naval Yard Shooting Update

[Content Note: Guns; violence.]

We're starting to get information this morning about Aaron Alexis, the 34-year-old man who killed twelve people at Washington Naval Yard yesterday and was then himself killed by law enforcement.

The Seattle police have released information about a 2004 case in which Alexis shot out the tires of a vehicle on a construction site near his home:
At about 8 am that morning, two construction workers had parked their 1986 Honda Accord in the driveway of their worksite, next to a home where Alexis was staying in the Beacon Hill neighborhood.

The victims reported seeing a man, later identified by police as Alexis, walk out of the home next to their worksite, pull a gun from his waistband and fire three shots into the two rear tires of their Honda before he walked slowly back to his home north of the construction site.

...When detectives interviewed workers and a manager at the construction site, they told police Alexis had "stared" at construction workers at the job site every day over the last month prior to the shooting. The owner of the construction business told police he believed Alexis was angry over the parking situation around the work site.

...Following his arrest, Alexis told detectives he perceived he had been "mocked" by construction workers the morning of the incident and said they had "disrespected him." Alexis also claimed he had an anger-fueled "blackout," and could not remember firing his gun at the victims' vehicle until an hour after the incident.

Alexis also told police he was present during "the tragic events of September 11, 2001" and described "how those events had disturbed him."

Detectives later spoke with Alexis' father, who lived in New York at the time, who told police Alexis had anger management problems associated with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and that Alexis had been an active participant in rescue attempts on September 11th, 2001.
Alexis was charged only with "malicious mischief."

In 2010, Alexis was interviewed by police in Fort Worth after firing a gun through the ceiling of his apartment, which traveled into his upstairs neighbor's apartment:
The woman, whose name is not listed in a Fort Worth Police Department report, said that she was "terrified" of Alexis, who had previously confronted her about making too much noise. The neighbor, who was "visibly shaken up" when questioned by police, said that she believed the shooting was "intentional."

When police interrogated Alexis...he claimed that he was cleaning the weapon when it discharged. Alexis told cops that he was cooking at the time and his hands were slippery as he "began to take the gun apart when his hands slipped and pulled the trigger discharging a round into the ceiling."

...An officer noted that, while inside Alexis's apartment, a dismantled gun covered in oil could be seen.
No charges were filed in that case.

Alexis had served in the Navy from May 2007 to January 2011, and recently "had served as a Naval reservist and had been working as a civilian contractor. But investigators were looking into claims that he recently lost that position, which they say may have set him off."

I have questions how it is that a person with two police reports about gun violence passes a background check to be a civilian contractor for the US government. I suppose the answer is the same way that a person with multiple police reports about the misuse of weapons, including one incident in which he claims he "blacked out" while firing a weapon in anger, legally retains his right to own guns and a concealed handgun license.

I don't even know what to say anymore. This is bad policy, and people are dying because of it.

[Commenting Note: As always, racist commentary is a violation of the commenting policy. Comments attributing Alexis' actions to his being a black man will be removed and the commenter banned.]

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